Mediating matters? On infrastructure’s ambiguous role in the production of the urban metabolism (upcoming)

Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Annual International Conference 2024, London, 27–30 August 2024

In urban political ecology research, infrastructures play a key role in understanding the urban metabolism. However, existing research often focuses on a specific medium such as water or energy to examine and theorize the production of urban natures, overlooking the technical infrastructure itself. Thus, this contribution redirects attention to the particular position of infrastructure’s materiality within urban metabolisms. To do so, it draws upon research on the maintenance and repair of Hamburg’s gas and water networks, using human labour practices as the analytical entry point to examine infrastructure’s ambiguous role as both product and mediator of metabolic processes.

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